How To Become A Consultant Study
Key Findings From Our “How To Became A Consultant” Survey
Let’s start with our 12 key findings from the survey data.
- Over 75% of consultants reach their previous income levels in less than 2 years.
- Over 90% of consultants invested in courses, coaching, or mentoring to become consultants.
- 60% of consultants benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. 22% said the pandemic very positively benefited their business, and 39% said the pandemic somewhat positively benefited their business.
- 65% of consultants started their consulting business while still working at their job. 35% of consultants quit their job and then became a consultant.
- For over 50% of consultants, their first client was a former employer.
- Sales, marketing, time management, and fees were the top 4 biggest challenges consultants had as new consultants.
- Consultants who invested in courses, coaching, or mentoring (and found them helpful) earn a higher annual income from consulting and tend to reach their previous income level as an employee faster.
- Over 85% of consultants were dissatisfied with their former job before they became a consultant. 37% were very dissatisfied with their job, and 50% were somewhat dissatisfied.
- Of consultants who felt most prepared for sales before becoming a consultant, 59% of them still named sales as their biggest challenge once they actually got started.
- 53% of consultants said they felt lonely when they first became a consultant, but do not anymore.
- Most consultants thought about becoming consultants at least a few years before making the leap. 38% were thinking about it for more than 5 years, and 47% were thinking about it for a few years.
- Most consultants (61%) want to grow their business. 17% want to maintain where they are at, and 9% want to eventually sell.
Reasons For Becoming A Consultant
We’ll start with WHY people decide to become a consultant.
How To Become A Consultant Guide
Based on the data, we’ve put together this guide to help you become a consultant.
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Make Your Decision
Quitting your job to become a consultant is a big decision. It’s one you don’t want to take lightly.
Why People Become Consultants
There are many reasons why people in corporate careers want to quit and become a consultant:
- They lack freedom and flexibility — being forced to work on projects they don’t want to work on
- They dislike their boss and would rather be their own boss (and be able to give themselves a raise instead of having to ask for one)
- They feel like they aren’t realizing their true and full potential — and are wasting their best years to create someone else’s dream instead of their own
With your own consulting business, you have the freedom and flexibility to work on the projects you want to work on.
You don’t have to answer to any boss — and you determine your income, not them.
And perhaps most importantly, starting and running your own consulting business is one of the most powerful vehicles for self-development. You will be challenged, overcome these challenges, and become a more complete person as a result.
How To Quit Your Corporate Job (The Right Way)
To give yourself the best chance of success, you want to start by quitting your job with grace.
Give your employer at least two weeks’ notice. Thank them for the opportunity. Offer to help them as much as possible to make their lives easier with you leaving.
As you’ll learn, consulting is a relationship business. You don’t want to burn bridges, especially with your past employer. If you can quit with tact, your previous employer will help connect you to your first clients — in fact, they might even be your first client. For over 50% of consultants, that is exactly the case: their first client is a previous employer.
In your final 2 weeks on the job, give it your all. But, you should also use this time to prepare and get your consulting business started.
Step 2: Decide On Your Transition Strategy
There are two ways you can transition from corporate to consultant: the Side Transition or the All-In Transition.
The Side Transition
The Side Transition is where you start consulting on the side while you work in your corporate job. 65% of consultants take this approach.
It’s a lower-risk approach to starting a consulting business. It allows you to test and validate the demand for your services while you still have income from your 9-5 job.
With The Side Transition, you gain traction before you quit your job. You prove to yourself that you can get clients and do the work so that when you do quit, you will have income.
It also gives you the chance to develop case studies, giving you a marketing asset to help get more clients once you make the leap.
However, with the Side Transition, you’re not giving it your 100% effort. You’re being held back by spending most of your time and energy on your full-time job. Thus, you won’t know how successful you can truly be if you’re only giving it 50% (or less) of your concentration and effort.